Handheld recorders

Prestigious blogger Radio Geek enquired:

I will need to invest in a high quality mp3 recorder. Any suggestions?

As mentioned in this entry in ‘Tool Time’, Underwater Man uses Creative Labs recorders as very few other affordable consumer MP3 players offer line-in encoding.

Micro line-in cable

The ZEN Nano Plus is listed on Ebay Australia. Recording is performed in 160 kbps MP3 format. My model does the same. Item 270896704096. Brand new & around the $50 mark.

The ZEN V is listed on Ebay USA. Recording is performed in WMA 160 kbps format. The WMA algorithm is technically superior quality to MP3 since the compression is twice as efficient. Of course, WMA is perhaps less popular, so this might be a moot point. Item 250746566686. Brand new & around the $50 mark.

The ZEN Neeon 2 is sold by Minidisc Australia. Like the V, this device utilizes the WMA format for recording. $180.

I have always used the highest quality analogue tape available (video tape and audio tape) and never lost a single recording out of hundreds of clips. Even if a tape gets chewed up you simply splice the tape. Worst case scenario, you lose maybe 10 seconds of audio or video. The limitation is that uploading clips is a pain. Whatever is recorded on analogue media (and Minidisc) needs to be encoded to Wave format in real time using a computer sound card.

In the interest of full disclosure, using digital recording methods, I have lost a number of Es recordings this season. Data losses were incurred as a result of mechanical failure of hard drives, media incompatibility and buggy firmware. Note that the Creative Labs recorder mentioned has never failed to retain recorded clips, I’m just speaking in general terms.

Digital clips may be salvaged in some instances. Don’t expect digital to live up to the hype. I assert that advertising is inherently deceptive. Readers of this blog aren’t stupid. I think we can accept that perfection in humanity or technology is a fantasy that will never be realized. 🙂

Professional audio recorder

Digital is far quicker as it’s already in digital format. Duh! That probably outweighs the risk of data corruption or loss. It’s not fashionable but I’ve always maintained there is not an awful lot wrong with analogue technologies including television broadcasting. Analogue-based High Definition broadcasting was used in Japan. With the icon Kodak now ‘on the rocks’, it’s very clear analogue is very much a niche path these days.

Digital audio recording

Further Reading:
Top MP3 recorders from 2009
Difference between Line-in recording versus Mic

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